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gay gene?, identical twins?, and choice
Source: A discussion on the Liberated Christians Forum
In 1993 a team of geneticists at the National Institutes of Health were conducting a study on male homosexuals. They dicovered that there is a spot on the X chromosome among gays. The NIH team is now in the process of pinpointing the actual gene which they have already labeled as GAY-1.
The certianty of any genetic study is determined by its "significance", also called the "p value". The minimum p value required for a study to be scientifically accepted is .05., because that means it only has a 5% chance of being wrong. .04 being a 4% chance of being wrong. .01 thus would mean there is only a 1% chance of being wrong, and a 99% chance that there IS a genetic linkage to homosexuality. The p value of the NIH study is .00001 -- do the math.
Bailey's study on indentical twins showed that if one twin was gay then 52% of the time the other twin would be gay as well.
Some argue that IF homosexuality were genetic then 100% of the time the other twin would be gay. So what's going on here?
I believe that there are two explanations for the twin-studies.
(A1) HORMONES: Sexual orientation is influenced by utero levels of hormone exposure- Experiments with lab mammals show that such hormone exposures often permanently determine the mammal's sexual orientation-- Often, [human] identical-twins have disparate hormone exposure even when gestated at the same time.
This not only provides one explanation for the twin studies, but also supports the belief that homosexuality is an in-born trait, and not chosen.
(A2) PENETRANCE: Within genes there is a property that Geneticists call "penetrance", which is the measure of the genes' effectiveness, or power.
For an illustration lets look at Huntington's Disease, which has two alleles (varieties). One allele is rare and causes the person to fall victim to the disease. If someone is born with this allele then it is very likely that he or she will develop the disease later on in life. The other allele, which is much more common, prevents people from falling victim to the disease. This gene is 100%penetrant.
The gene that causes type 1 diabetes has a penetrance of only about 30%. If one identical twin has the allele which causes diabetes then the other twin will have that allele as well. There would be a 30% chance that they would develop the disorder.
The scientific method demands that we change our beliefs or theories to fit the factual data. If the gay gene penetrance was 50%, then 50% of the time the other twin would be gay as well (leaving the other 50% to be either bisexual or straight).
As biologist Chandler Burr writes, "There could be hundreds of millions of straight men walking around with this gay allele but who are straight simply because it didn't penetrate".
Scientists are unsure as to what exactly triggers the allele. Some geneticists believe it is triggered by an event in the womb such as the hormone exposures I mentioned earlier.
There are two more arguments in support of the belief that homosexuality is NOT chosen. They are arguments from logic.
(B1) After centuries of empirical observation scientists discovered that people who are straight were born that way.
This explains the disgusted male-heterosexual responce when he thinks of himself in a "gay situation". Such a reaction is natural because it is opposite of his attraction.
So why on earth would a straight male "choose" to be gay when he is repulsed by such a thought? He would have to be mentally disturbed or mentally ill.
However, almost every study on homosexual health conducted has shown that homosexuals are equally as healthy emotionally, physically, and mentally as heterosexuals are.
So would it not be accurate to say that homosexuals are born that way?
(B2) Most heterosexuals who are raised by heterosexual parents and in a healthy atmosphere show their attraction at a young age before being introduced into the modern cultural way of thinking and without being sexually abused/ molested. This obviously means their sexual orientation is apart of who they are and is who they were born.
Well, guess what-- Most homosexuals are raised under the exact same conditions: Raised by heterosexual* parents in a healthy* atmosphere and do not* get sexually abused/ molested and show their sexual attraction at a young age *before* having any sexual experiences, and without being sexually influenced.
So if this same phenomenon shows that heterosexuals are born that way, then doesn't that mean that homosexuals are also born that way?
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